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Essential Teachings presents the first English translation og a series of talks given in 1974 by the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya, India--the site of the Buddha's enlightenment--to a gathering of Tibetan refugees and Western Buddhists. His precise and eloquent commentary on the "Path of the Bodhisattva," one of the most important teaching texts of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, offers a step-by-step guide to thirty-seven practices designed to help cultivate the spirit of compassion for all life and service to others that is at the heart of Buddhism.
"In one book you have marvelous representations of what the Tibetans call the two interpenetrating aspects of the enlightened mind: its boundless compassion and its "empty" wisdom. On whether we learn how to unite compassion with the 'wisdom of emptiness,' how both to care enough to work with enough selfless detachment in the middle of raging and devouring chaos, depends the future. To that future, this book is a wonderful gift, the gift of a wonderful man whose heart and mind are as spacious as the universe, and whose life is that of an authentic and humble hero of truth."
-from the Introduction by Andrew Harvey